Sunday, May 17, 2015

God's Gardeners

This week, we killed Abu Sayyaf, a key ISIS figure. We have stepped into the same snare we have been stepping into since time out of mind.
The snare I’m speaking of is the dualistic view of God’s creation, so attractive to our sinful selves, in which we mentally divide the population of the world into “the good guys”, always identified with “us” and “the bad guys”, or “not us” then decide that it is the Divinely Ordained Task of the good guys to exterminate the bad guys. This view is so pervasive and so endlessly reflected and re-reflected in our consciousness that escaping from it is like trying to find your way out of a house of mirrors. 
Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, God's Gardeners, by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Who's On First?

It is well worth our time to think about how we conceive of the relationship between ourselves and God. Does God react to us, or do we react to God? In other words, Who's On First? My guess is that the most prevalent understanding is that God reacts to us, spreading His blessings on those who live fruitful, obedient lives, and scourging those who don't eternally. That's a pretty common understanding, but I'd like to offer an alternative: I'd like to suggest that God sends his rain upon the fields of the just and the unjust alike, and it is up to us to react to God's love. Jesus taught:

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”

If we abide in His love, why are there always seats for the family of the victim at executions? Why do we draw satisfaction from the suffering of others?

Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, Who's On First? by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Let the Man Through!

Symbols and traditions. Traditions and symbols. They are important only so long as they help us by pointing to a truth. If they become important themselves, they will lead us astray.

Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, Let the Man Through by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's Got Legs

In the law trade, a strong argument is said to have legs. It can walk of its own power. An argument has legs if, by its nature, it accords with the listeners' common understanding of how the world works.
The story of the resurrection isn't such a story. It's outrageous, until you study closely what the nearest witnesses did in response. Then, your common understanding will tell you something very different.

Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, It's Got Legs! by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

So What?

I upset some people by calling the account of the resurrection of Jesus outrageous, but it IS outrageous. If I told you my uncle Fred had been raised from the dead and dropped by to have a bite of fish, you would see just how outrageous an assertion that is. Talking about Jesus, though, we've heard it so much we no longer confront it, which means we never get to the most important question a Christian can ask, "So what?" What does the resurrection of Jesus mean in my life? For what did He give His life? Most importantly, what responsibilities are laid upon me as a Christian?


Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, So What? by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Way? No Way!

"...the doors were locked for fear of the Jews." This passage from the Gospel of John has permitted those who would draft the good news into service of their own evil goals to pursue much cruelty. At basis, the problem is one of dualistic thinking -- an inability to see the world through the non-dualistic eyes of Christ.
Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, Way? No Way! by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

TIKKUN OLAM

I think that here in the mountains the most common understanding of the Resurrection and Crucifixion is some variant on the theme of "Jesus did it all" or "Jesus paid the debt we could not pay". I can't relate to that at all for reasons unimportant here, but the question I would pose is this: when Jesus returns, is "Thanks a bunch, Jesus" all that He will expect from us, or has He called us to a task -- the task of healing the world, or, in Hebrew, Tikkun Olam?


Join the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Ky. for this week's sermon, Tikkun Olam by clicking HERE for audio or HERE for text. Community Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, Kentucky, was built on the casting floor of a 19th Century iron blast furnace. We use "The Casting Floor" as an image for the power of the Spirit to form us. Visit us at http://communitypresbyterian.org.